Confusing Words: look / see / watch


You look, see and watch with your eyes, but when using these words, you might feel a little bit confused.
Let’s make things clear:


You direct your attention to something. You have an intention; you make an effort to look at something.
Look at
the forest! It is so beautiful!
She was looking at the paintings.


You see, you perceive with your eyes. It is not your intention; you don’t make an effort, it just happens.
I saw a squirrel in my garden.


You watch something; you keep your eyes on something that is moving for a long time; your action is intentional. You make an effort.

I am watching a TV show.

He watched a football match last night.

However, when we ask somebody if they have watched a certain movie, play, show, concert, etc., we say:
Question: Have you seen the last Star Wars movie?
Answer 1: Yes, I saw it last night.

Answer 2: No, I haven’t seen it yet.

We usually use SEE when we go to a movie, show, concert in a public space.

When we do it at home, we use WATCH.
I am going to see a movie at the cinema.

I am going to watch the movie tonight on my new TV.
I saw their live concert on the stadium.

I watched their concert on TV.

Happy studying!